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LPP 255 (13)
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Chapter 34

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Syracuse University
Law & Public Policy
LPP 255

Chapter 34 • Employment at will= under this doctrine either party may terminate the employment relationship at any time and for any reason, unless doing so would violate the provisions of an employment contract or statue o Majority of US workers o Exceptions:  Contract theory • Implied employment contract exists between employer and employee and if the employee is fired outside the terms of the implied contract, they may succeed in an action for breach of contract even without a written contract o Sometimes implied terms in a manual or bulletin o The key consideration in determining whether an employment manual creates an implied contractual obligation is the employees reasonable expectations  Tort theory • Abusive discharge procedures may results in lawsuit for intentional infliction of emotional distress or defamation • Tort theory of fraud= an employer may be held liable for making false promises to a prospective employee if the person detrimentally relies on the employers representations by taking the job  Public policy • Courts may apply this exception when an employer fires a worker for reasons that violate a fundamental public policy of the jurisdiction o 50 or more employees= required by FMLA(federal family and medical leave act) to give employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid family or medical leave per year o Courts decide under this jurisdiction • Whistleblowing= employee tells government authorities, media or upper level management that their employer is engaged in some unsafe or illegal activity o Whistleblowers have been protected by wrongful discharge • Wrongful discharge= whenever an employer discharges an employee in violation of an employment contract or statutory law protecti
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